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Center for Middle East Public Policy

In the News

A Syrian refugee carries his son through a rainstorm at the Greek-Macedonian border near the Greek village of Idomeni, November 27, 2015

Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

To Undermine ISIS, We Should Welcome Syrian Refugees

If politicians and policymakers truly want to undermine ISIS and reduce any perceived threat from Syrian refugees, they should advocate that the United States take in more refugees, perhaps even more than the 65,000 suggested by the International Rescue Committee two months ago. This effort should be carefully planned and executed to ensure they are welcomed, cared for and, as necessary, assimilated into the American melting pot.

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Recent Publications

From Negative to Positive Stability: How the Syrian Refugee Crisis Can Improve Jordan's Outlook

Syrian refugee children draw inside a makeshift school

Syrian refugees might directly benefit the Jordanian economy by stimulating growth. Donors and lenders have increased their support to Jordan, in turn offering the government an opportunity to improve the lives of both Syrian refugees and Jordanian citizens.

Read the report »

Education of Syrian Refugee Children: Managing the Crisis in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan

Syrian refugee children draw inside a makeshift school

As of November 2015, 700,000 Syrian refugee children are not attending formal education in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. Social conditions make reform efforts challenging, so how can access to education and the quality of education improve for these children?

Read the report »

The Private Sector and Youth Skills and Employment Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

A boy makes pastry at a shop in Darkush town, Syria

Disadvantaged youth require more training to achieve job skills than other youth—just one obstacle to solving the global problem of youth unemployment. There are, however, options for successful public-private partnerships that support training and employment.

Read the report »

The Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Arabic and Hebrew Translations

The Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Executive Summary

Earlier this year, RAND released findings from its study, The Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, which quantifies the likely economic and security costs and benefits of five alternative scenarios, compared with the conflict's current trajectory. The project's executive summary is now available in both Arabic and Hebrew.

Read the summary in Arabic »
Read the summary in Hebrew »

Expert Insights

The Impact of Sanctions Relief on Iran

Alireza Nader, Congressional Testimony

If Terrorism Is Homegrown, a Visa Overhaul Won't Keep Americans Safe

Brian Michael Jenkins, The Guardian

ISIS vs Special Ops

Linda Robinson, Foreign Affairs

To Defeat ISIS, Focus On Its Real Sources of Strength

Benjamin Bahney and Patrick B. Johnston, The National Interest

ISIS Will Become More Deadly Before It Dies

Seth G. Jones, Slate

Insights on the Paris Terror Attacks from RAND Experts

The RAND Blog

Researcher Spotlight

Q&A with Policy Researcher Rita Karam

Rita Karam

We recently sat down with RAND policy researcher Rita Karam to discuss her work. Karam has been at RAND for 13 years, focusing on a wide range of education issues both in the United States and in Middle Eastern countries.

1. Can you tell us a little about your background and research focus?

My research focuses on examining educational reforms, decentralization policies, school monitoring/evaluation and accountability systems, and STEM programs. I have examined the implementation of such programs and reforms and their effects on student academic and non-academic outcomes in the MENA region.

In my analysis, I take into account various factors such as the complexity of reforms and programs, their coherence with local policies, as well as other government policies and their alignment with cultural values.

2. What are you currently working on?

I am looking at the role of parents in facilitating learning. We are pursuing opportunities to understand the role of MENA parents in shaping their children's development.

3. What might your work mean to education in the Middle East?

Looking at both the role of schools/education system as well as families is important to truly understand student learning and performance in school. Our work in the MENA region suggests that student low academic performance is not solely attributed to the quality of schools and education reforms, but could also be because important skills that promote later academic success are insufficiently fostered during the early childhood period.

To learn more about Rita Karam and see a list of her published work, visit her bio on

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